Saturday, November 14, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ Moskowitz of Romania

I am using the Surname Saturday prompt to review the ancestral lines for my husband's family.

Abraham D. Moskowitz appears as the father of Morris Moskowitz on the 1904 New York City marriage license of Morris Moskowitz and Liza Blumenfeld.

Also on this marriage license is Morris' mother's maiden name: Chana Sharf.

New York, New York, Manhattan Marriages, FHL Microfilm 1556816, Certificate No. 13533.
Morris Moskowitz and Liza Blumenfeld, June 29, 1904.; Family History Library microfilm.

According to my mother-in-law, Morris Moskowitz was a brother of Sheva Moskowitz, so I am assuming that Sheva's parents were Abraham and Chana.

All I know about Abraham is that he lived in Romania, probably in Iași. He likely died before 1910, when Chana appears as Hanna Moskowitz in the 1910 U.S. Census as mother of Morris Moskowitz. I haven't found any more information on Chana/Hanna.

Generation 2: Sheva/Sarah Moskowitz lived in Iași, Romania, and was married to Isaac Goldstein. Family lore said that she came to America but was turned back because of health reasons, but I have never found proof of that story.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Handler Birth Record Transcriptions at JewishGen

I subscribe to the H-SIG (Hungarian Special Interest Group) email list because of my father-in-law's Hungarian roots. (Click here to see the various JewishGen mailing lists you can subscribe to.) I was excited early last week to see that there was a new upload to the JewishGen Hungary Database: an individual has transcribed all the births, marriages and deaths from registers from a couple of small communities that are now in present day Serbia: Erdevik and Sid, and has provided these transcriptions to JewishGen.

Erdevik is a familiar place name because Sam Handler reported it to be his birth place on his 1919 naturalization papers, so I was very excited to take a look.

At the JewishGen search page for the Hungary Databases, I searched for Surname: Handler, Town: Erdevik, and GivenName: Sali. (Note that, although JewishGen is free, I make an annual donation to JewishGen, which provides me with this searching flexibility.)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ Segal (or Siegel) of Ukraine and New Jersey

I am using the Surname Saturday prompt to review the ancestral lines for my husband's family.

The surname Segal is another name that is spelled in many different ways in different records. I have found Segal, Segel, Siegel, Seigel, and Seigle (which some descendants still use today). To make it easier, I will use just Segal in this post.

The earliest ancestor I know the name of is Israel Segal, which is the name listed on his son's death certificate. The Hebrew on his son's tombstone (image below) at Tifereth Israel Cemetery in Woodbine, New Jersey, lists his name as Yehuda.

All I know of Yehuda / Israel is that he had a son, Simche, and a daughter, Henda. (See Connecting With a Segal Cousin for that information!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wedding Wednesday ~ 1898 Ketubah

A ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract between husband and wife. It is traditionally all in Hebrew, though more recently, a ketubah will have English on the left side and Hebrew on the right.

My brother-in-law recently found a ketubah among family papers and thought it was for his grandparents, Rose and Morris, who were married in 1922. He had it framed and when I said I would try to get a translation of the handwritten entries, he took a photograph and emailed it to me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wedding Wednesday ~ Honevald-Weisz, 1854

I shared a piece of this marriage record at Surname Saturday ~ Honevald. Here is the full page. Record number 10, at the bottom of this image is the 14 November 1854 marriage record for Jacob Honevald and Mari Weisz.

Hőgyész, Tolna, Hungary, "Registers of Jewish births, marriages and deaths for Hőgyész (1842-1895)," 1854: Marriage no. 10. Jacob Honevald and Mari Weisz. November 14, 1854.; Family History Library microfilm.

I shared the left-hand side in my last post:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ Honenvald of Hungary

I am using the Surname Saturday prompt to review the ancestral lines for my husband's family.

The surname Honenvald is also found as Honevald, Huniwald, Honenwald and Honiwald. (Remember, in the 19th century and earlier, especially in Eastern Europe, spelling was not standardized and those writing these records were writing down names based on how they heard them.)

Thanks to the Family History Library, which has been microfilming (and now digitizing) records from around the world, I have been able to trace my husband's Hungarian ancestors for several generations through the vital records found on FHL microfilms.

Some post-1895 Hungarian Vital Records are indexed and can be found at FamilySearch in the Hungary Civil Registration, 1895-1980 database. However, Tolna district is not yet included in the indexed records, so you have to browse these records at the browse page for Hungary Civil Registration 1895-1980.

Hungary records before 1895 are only found on microfilm (at this time) and I have explored them for Hőgyész and Bonyhád. I have previously shared a few records that I found.

The earliest in this line that I have found is Moses Honevald, born in the very early 1800s. He is listed on his son's marriage record with his wife, Hany Bruk. Their residence is also listed on this record, but I'm having trouble deciphering it. (See image below.)

I don't know how many children Moses Honevald and Hany Bruk had or when and where they died.

Generation 2: Their son, Jacob, is found in several records, including his 14 November 1854 marriage record, the only record I have that shows his father's name:

Hőgyész, Tolna, Hungary, "Registers of Jewish births, marriages and deaths for Hőgyész (1842-1895)," 1854: Marriage no. 10. Jacob Honevald and Mari Weisz. November 14, 1854.; Family History Library microfilm. (Left side of page)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Surname Saturday ~ Levitas of Galicia and Levitt of New Jersey

I am using the Surname Saturday prompt to review the ancestral lines for my husband's family.

The earliest ancestor I've found appears to be Moses Leiser Lewites because of the help I received from a fellow genealogist. Just last year, I discovered the community where Max Levitt came from: Husiatyn, Galicia, Austrian Empire.

See Levitas = Lewites from Austria for the little bit of information I know about Moses Leiser Lewites. His wife was Gittel Jorisha, and they had several children between 1854 and 1871 in Husyatyn, according to the records I found at JRI-Poland.

I know of three of their children who immigrated to America:
Max, who changed his name from Levitas to Levitt and settled in Woodbine, New Jersey (see below).
Emanual, who became a successful garter manufacturer in New York, along with his wife, Sarah.
Sosie or Sophie, who married Samuel Litwin and settled in Newark, New Jersey.

Generation 2: Model Lewites was born on May 6, 1857, in Husiatyn, Galicia, as I found in the JRI-Poland databases. I previously shared this at Levitas = Lewites from Austria.

He married in the early 1880s and had at least three or four children. By the time he immigrated to America, in late 1894, he was a widower. Unfortunately, I have not had luck finding his passenger list, though I did find his naturalization papers. Max Levitt became a citizen in Cape May County, New Jersey, on September 30, 1903.

Although it is not officially stated in these papers that he wished to change his name to Max Levitt, all United States records that I have found for him have him as Max Levitt. The only reason I knew to look for siblings Emanual and Sophie was because of my mother-in-law's wonderful memory.

From 1900-1930, he is living in Woodbine, New Jersey. See the family's census records at Mystery Monday ~ Levitts in Woodbine.

At some point in the late 1890s (I haven't found a marriage record), Max married Golda Segal, most likely in Woodbine. They had four known children: George, Rose, Morton, and Edward. There was possibly one earlier child: as I noted in the Mystery Monday post, there was a one-year-old Daniel Levitt listed with the family in the 1900 U.S. Census, but I have found no other information for this him. Perhaps he died young and was never mentioned again?

Max died on May 3, 1935. I shared his death certificate here. His son Morton was the informant and knew his grandfather's name as Moses L., but he did not know his grandmother's name.

Morris and Rose, 1941
Generation 3: Rose Levitt, the second child of Max and Golda, was born on October 12, 1902, in Woodbine, New Jersey. She married Morris Goldstein on August 26, 1922, in Woodbine, New Jersey. The lived in the lower East Side of Manhattan for a few years, where their two children were born, but returned to Woodbine, where they lived for over 30 years.

I knew Rose, who died on December 26, 1995. She had several stories about her life and about her family, and she was thrilled when I came along and was interested enough in her stories that I brought along a pad of paper and a pen to write them down when we visited. Of course, since I have done a great deal more research on the family, there are many more questions I wish I had asked her.

Generation 4: My mother-in-law.

Generation 5: My husband.